It's NOT about the nail

Her:

It’s just… there’s all this pressure, you know? Sometimes it feels like it’s right up on me. And I can just feel it, like literally feel it in my head, and it’s relentless and… I don’t know if it’s gonna stop. I mean, that’s what scares me the most: I don’t know if it’s ever gonna stop.

What she’s saying: These are the things I am feeling. Can you relate to this?
What he hears: I’ve got a problem, please help me.

Him:

Yeah well, you do have a nail in your head.

What he’s saying: You came to me with this problem, so let me help you with it.
What she hears: I don’t want to relate to you. I know what’s best for you.

Her:

It is not about the nail.

What she’s saying: You don’t understand what I’m feeling.
What he’s hearing: (uh, what?)

Him:

Are you sure? Because I bet if we got that out of there—

What he’s saying: I can really help you out.
What she’s hearing: I don’t care where you’re coming from. You’re incapable of solving your own problems.

Her:

Stop trying to fix it.

What she’s saying: You’re not listening to me.
What he’s hearing: You can’t fix this.

Him:

No I’m not trying to fix it. I’m just pointing out that maybe the nail is causing—

What he’s saying: I’m not doing the act of fixing the problem, but I’ve got a plan on how to solve the problem.
What she’s hearing: Your feelings don’t matter.

Her:

You always do this! You always try to fix things when what I really need is for you to just listen.

What she’s saying: I don’t want you to tell me how to solve my problem. I want you to tell me that you understand my situation.
What he hears: Stop talking. Just hear what I’m saying.

Him:

See, I don’t think that’s what you need. I think what you need is to get the nail out—

What he’s saying: I really do know how to fix this.
What she’s hearing: You’re incapable of solving your own problems.

Her:

See you’re not even listening now—

What she’s saying: OMG, I just told you to stop trying to solve my problem and you’re still doing it. \ What he’s hearing: Shut up!

Him:

OK. Fine. I will listen. Fine.

What he’s saying: I’ll stop talking now.
What she hears: OK.

Her:

It’s just…sometimes it’s like there’s this achy… I don’t know what it is. And I’m not sleeping very well at all. And all my sweaters are snagged. I mean all of them.

What she’s saying: I’m having a really hard time right now.
What he hears: This problem is causing other problems.

Him:

I… that sounds really hard.

What he’s saying: That really sucks.
What she hears: I understand where you’re coming from.

Her:

It is. Thank you.

What she’s saying: Finally, you’re relating to my experience.
What he’s hearing: You’re listening to me now.

Her:

Oww!

Him:

Come on! If you would just—

Her:

Don’t!

:)


Thanks to Christian Genco for sharing with me the link to this video.

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